The Absolute Best Paint Wash If You Want A Better Night's Sleep

If you've been paying attention to your Instagram feed, you may have noticed the trendy wall treatment suddenly popping up everywhere: Limewash paints. But these soft and natural walls are hardly a new phenomenon. As Jamie Davis, cofounder of Portola Paints and Glazes, told Harper's Bazaar, "Limewash paints have been around for thousands of years. They are nontoxic, eco-friendly, and have the added bonus of looking really beautiful too," Davis explains, "Originally, limewash paints were used to act as a breathable antifungal finish for everything from plaster or brick exteriors to the trunks of trees in tropical climates." Because it is breathable and improves air quality by resisting bacteria and fungi, limewash is an ingenious choice for bedrooms. When you breathe better, you sleep better, so it pays to have walls that take care of a lot of the hard work for you. 

In addition to its physical health benefits, limewash has some aesthetic and psychological factors that make it perfect for setting the sleepytime mood. The natural, freeform texture and pale, sweeping colors in these walls evokes images of a soothing cloud, watercolor painting, or spa room. Ready to embrace the timeless trend? Here's what you need to know about selecting and styling limewash walls in your bedroom.  

Trending for healthy people and a happy planet

Indoor air pollution can affect sleep by irritating airways and causing congestion. Mold spores, in particular, have been shown to correlate with problems including insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime grogginess (via the National Sleep Foundation). Luckily, a limewash finish will help neutralize indoor air pollution and mold threats. Limestone is alkaline, making the paint antibacterial, antifungal, breathable, odorless, and fire-resistant. Like baking soda, another alkaline material, limestone can neutralize odors and was even historically used to fight foul scents in barns and stables. 

Limewash isn't just good for people and their homes; it's also an excellent solution for the planet. This paint is made with a simple mixture of pulverized limestone, water, and natural color pigments, making it an extremely sustainable and eco-friendly product. About 10% of all sedimentary rocks are limestone, and this abundant white rock can be found close to the Earth's surface all around the world. 

The natural pale color of the limestone contrasts with any added pigment, which gives limewash its varied depth and texture. Light, neutral paint colors like sand, beige, and gray are a safe way to go with limewash paint. However, according to Healthline, blue is one of the best paint colors for promoting sleep, so combining this with limewash's health benefits can seriously boost your nighttime vibe. 

Fall in love with limewash

Limewash paint is relatively easy to DIY in your home, but it requires some finesse and technique to ensure the final result looks smooth and balanced. Be sure to tape off your wall, cover any fixtures, and protect your flooring ahead of time; limewash paint tends to be much thinner than standard wall paint, so drops may fly! Don't be alarmed if the paint looks darker than you first expected. Limewash becomes considerably lighter as it dries, and most paints will need at least three coats to reach your desired color. The tricky part here is that each coat needs to dry completely before you move on to the next layer. Applying another coat over wet paint will ruin the faded effect, so when in doubt, wait it out.

To create a perfect limewash wall, you'll need a large and long-bristled paintbrush (also known as a masonry paintbrush) for making loose, feathered strokes. Starting at the top of your wall, paint a 2 to 3-foot wide area in long, casual strokes, and continue until you reach the floor. Move on to the next wall section, and repeat around the room. You can even use limewash paint on the ceiling for an encapsulating look. Style your finished bedroom with materials like wood, linen, and rattan to help the natural texture really pop!